Dáil debates climate change bill, Tuesday 29th November
29 Nov 2005
The Dáil will tonight debate the Climate Change Targets Bill 2005.
The Bill calls for regular targets to put Ireland on track to reducing its output of the polluting gases by 60-80 per cent by 2050, in line with the EU declaration that reductions of this order are required by developed countries to prevent dangerous climate change.
The debate on the Bill will run on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 8.30pm with a vote being taken on Wednesday.
The Bill is being introduced by the Green Party "on the eve of the UN climate change meeting in Montreal to concentrate the mind of the Irish government to reducing the climate change gases" according to the Party's environment spokesperson, Ciarán Cuffe.
To watch the debate from the public gallery just contact one of your local TDs. The Dáil Eireann switchboard will put you through to their office. Just call 01-6183333 or Lo-call 1890 337 889.
The official explanatory memorandum follows below.
CLIMATE CHANGE TARGETS BILL 2005
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Purpose of Bill
The Bill is by its title an Act to provide for the approval, with or
without amendment, by both Houses of the Oireachtas of a longterm
partnership approach to fulfilling our climate change targets
The Bill seeks to introduce legislation to ensure that we achieve
the annual pro-rata reduction in domestic Greenhouse Gas emissions
necessary internationally for the average increase in global temperatures
to be maintained at less than two degrees.
Provisions of the Bill
Section 3 establishes Government policy on international negotiations
and agreements on climate change targets.
Subsection (2) requires the Government to seek to reduce Greenhouse
Gas emissions to prevent an increase of global average temperatures
of more than two degrees centigrade.
Subsection (3) commits the Government to engage in international
negotiations and agreements that are inclusive in participation and
equitable in prescription.
Development of Government Practice at the National Level
Section 4 sets out a national plan to reduce global Greenhouse Gas
emissions, which is predicated on the prioritisation of reduction in
domestic emissions over international carbon trading arrangements.
That reduction will be achieved through the replacement of fossil
fuels with renewable energy sources and enhancement of energy conservation.
Development of Government Practice at the International Level
Section 5 prescribes a leading role in the reduction of Greenhouse
Gas emissions to the Government in concert with other EU and
OECD Member States.
Subsection (2) identifies two targets for the reduction of domestic
Greenhouse Gas emissions necessary to maintain the average
increase in global temperatures below two degrees centigrade,
a) A reduction of 15 to 30 per cent by 2020
b) A reduction of 60 to 80 per cent by 2050
Development of a National Plan
Section 6 sets down the terms of the preparation and the content
of the national plan to ensure our obligations to meet climate change
targets are fulfilled. It commits the Minister for the Environment,
Heritage and Local Government to drawing up a national plan
detailing the measures required to achieve the targeted reduction in
our domestic emissions. The plan shall be subsequently reviewed and
modified as required.
Subsection (2) provides that a scheme of per capita carbon allocation
and trading scheme may be included in the national plan.
Functions of the Ministers
Section 7 sets out the role of the various Government Ministers in
ensuring that we fulfil our obligations to reduce domestic Greenhouse
Subsection (1) commits the Minister for the Environment, Heritage
and Local Government to report annually to the Houses of the
Oireachtas on our success or otherwise in achieving a reduction in
emissions, and provides for an annual readjustment to the national
plan to ensure any failures to meet our annual targeted reductions
are not carried forward indefinitely.
Subsection (2) provides that the regulations for the implementation
of the national plan shall be subject to the resolution of either
House of the Oireachtas.
Subsection (3) commits the Minister for Finance to report annually
to the Houses of the Oireachtas on the provisions made in the annual
budget to ensure our annual targeted reductions in domestic emissions
Subsection (4) commits the Minister for Communications, Marine
and Natural Resources to report annually to the Houses of the
Oireachtas on the measures taken by his or her Department to
ensure our annual targeted reductions in domestic emissions are met.
Reporting to the Houses of the Oireachtas
Section 8 commits the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and
Local Government to bring the national plan upon completion
before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Minster shall conduct a
review of the national plan at least once every three years, giving
due consideration to the views of both Houses of the Oireachtas and
to developments in international agreements and negotiations.